When does the absence of hysteria become the hysteria itself?

We had another horrific mass-shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday—the worst of its kind if you measure in loss of life—and reactions followed familiar platitudinal threads.

  • “Thoughts & prayers.” — Joni Ernst
  • “We need to talk about mental health.” — Paul Ryan
  • “Our leaders are afraid to tolerate limits on Second Amendment freedoms.” — Charlie Pierce
  • “…there is a tremendous loss of blood.” — Steve Scalise

We’ve become too comfortable in this being an American normal. We’ve become too complacent, preventing us from doing something to affect change and save lives. As Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D.-Conn.) put it: “Nothing has changed since Newtown and Congress has been complicit.” This is a true statement.

Absence of universal outrage is itself the outrage.

And then there’s the business side of the story. Gun stocks and sales rise and fall based on cultural changes and national political transitions. As has been widely reported, shares of gun stocks rose in the wake of Las Vegas—but not as much as after past mass shootings. But there’s a reason for the smaller spike.

Longtime CrankyYank readers will remember my Vol. 10 post “Moonves is Money” in which Les Moonves told an investor crowd that “Trump may be bad for America, but he’s great for business.” The same type of greedy analysis has been applied to guns. From AP by way of US News:

In a call to discuss Sturm Ruger’s quarterly earnings in February, one investor told the company’s executives that “you’ve never had a better administration for the gun industry than Obama.

The bullshit trope of “Obummer is comin’ for our gunz!” permeated the fear-based part of gun owners’ brain that, quite obviously, impaired their judgment. As Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur will tell you, Obama’s record was cartoonishly embellished by those who wanted to stoke fear.

I am convinced that if this president could confiscate every gun in America he would. I am convinced that if he could get rid of the Second Amendment he would,” U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said in the Republican presidential debate in Charleston, South Carolina. “This president, every chance he has ever gotten, has tried to undermine the Second Amendment.

None of that is true. Not one piece of any of Marco’s brain farts passing as ideas survives the truth test. Since Trump has been appointed by Comey “elected” gun sales have turned downward, making all Obama-related hysteria null and void I guess? Like so many in the GOP, Marco Rubio’s brain-fart stylings can be bought: he notches in the Top 10 of politicians who’ve received National Rifle Association (NRA) donations.

Politicians who want NRA donations flowing have done their part to boost sales—inadvertently or intentionally. Does it really matter? And as long as we continue to send those folks back to congress, our gun reform will go nowhere and the next Vegas will always be right around the corner.

 

Calling Trump “tone deaf” is an insult to deaf people. His lack of empathy—combined with a dangerously scant intelligence and curiosity—makes him uniquely unqualified to run a lemonade stand, let alone a country. Zeroing in on his actions in Puerto Rico, he proves over and over that electing an unqualified, disgraced New York City real estate “tycoon” was a very bad idea. Have a look at Conan O’Brien’s spoof of Trump’s “Bounty Jump Shot.”

 

Out of tragedy heroes are born. Justin Uhart was working the Vegas concert as a bartender when the shots rang out from the Mandalay Bay’s 32nd floor corner suite. He came across concert-goer Jan Lambourne, who had been shot in the stomach and immobilized by a fractured pelvis. According to CBS News Uhart and a few other people carried Lambourne to a nearby field. He stayed with her the whole way and tended to her wounds.

“If it wasn’t for him I’d not be here,” she told CBS. The reunion was caused by a horrible situation, but it’s an example of people rushing to aid and comfort strangers in need. 🔵

 

That’s a wrap guys! Thanks for reading and, as always, for your shares and excellent comments. We’ll see you right back here next week for another edition of CrankyYank—with other random nuggets mixed in.


Will Pollocksideways is an Atlanta-based freelance multimedia journalist focusing on pop-culture, politics, journalism & media, retail, real estate, travel, politics, and human interest. 

He is the author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.

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